Norway: Unlocked

Tanya, our representative for Norway, shares the inside scoop on the country she calls home.

How to say hello:

Hei

How to say goodbye:

Ha det bra

How to say thank you:

Takk

Currency used:

Norwegian crowns (kroner) or NOK

Favorite national foods:

Voted #1 in the nation is Fårikål (lamb and cabbage, with peppercorn seasoning). I prefer Norwegian seafood, which is the best in the world!

Norway 3photo credit: Jerrold via photopin cc


Best month(s) to visit:

July and August are best as the days are long and warm with the midnight sun.

Best way to get around:

Nationally: train and Hurtigrute, which is a coastal cruise ship. In cities: bicycle, bus, tram, and subway.

Local customs:

Friends koser each other: press right cheeks together in an embrace. Some kiss each other’s cheeks. When meeting new people we often shake hands, but usually avoid other bodily contact like hugs. Older Norwegians are fairly reserved.

A novel to read, film to watch, or song to listen to learn more about Norway:

For kids, watching the Disney movie “Frozen” or hilarious “Trollhunter” and reading any Grimm fairy tales will give them a good introduction.

For adults: “Blind,” “Kautokeino Rebellion” or “Troubled Water” are good movies. The modern books “Shame” by Bergljot Hobæk Haff and any books by Jo Nesbø about the detective Harry Hole are recommended, or read classics by Sigrid Undset, Camilla Collett, Henrik Ibsen, and Knut Hamsun.

Music: Classical compositions by Grieg or rock by Big Bang (there are many good Norwegian bands but most don’t sing in English. For laughs check out anything by Ylvis on YouTube (especially “The Cabin” which describes Norwegian cabin culture perfectly).

Norway 2photo credit: Today is a good day via photopin cc


Local websites for discounts:

Groupon.no, LetsDeal.no, and The Opera.

The best kept secret about Norway:

There are thousands of kilometers of completely free, prepared, well-lit cross-country tracks around the country, with warming huts supplying food, drink and saunas!

The most unique thing about Norway:

The nature, especially fjords where the mountains meet the ocean.

Norway 4photo credit: The-Dan via photopin cc


Common misconceptions about Norway:

Foreigners think Norwegians are cold and distant, but the key is to smile and say “Hi” even if some people just look at you and don’t answer. Some are friendlier than others. There is an outdated unspoken rule that you don’t greet people you don’t know, but Norwegians like to help tourists! Norway has a reputation for having bad, expensive food but this has changed and good food is everywhere now.

The best free activities:

In Oslo: free movies and concerts outdoors in the summertime and at the rock club Rockefeller. Everywhere: Fishing in the sea (lake and river fishing requires a paid permit), and free entrance to many museums. Check out the websites visitnorway.com and visitoslo.com!

Odds and ends:

Alcohol and tobacco (in all forms) are regulated and taxed and are very expensive. Buying a bottle in the tax-free and leaving it for your host will ensure you great popularity, but don’t ever drink and drive!

featured photo credit: henrikj via photopin cc

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